Wisdom Wednesday: Interactive Donor Walls

Innovative nonprofit organizations are increasingly going interactive when it comes to donor recognition. Digital, interactive donor walls provide cost-effective agility in messaging and offer a personalized viewing experience that reflects the preferences of today’s information consumer. However, the rise of interactive does not signal the demise of the traditional donor wall. Smart philanthropy professionals are using both.

Karen McNulty, Honorcraft’s Vice President of Business Development, and Tomer Mann, interactive display expert at our technology partner 22Miles, recently sat down to address some of the most frequently asked questions that come our way.


Integrated Interactive Donor Wall, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, IL

When should I consider an interactive donor display instead of more traditional donor recognition?Karen: Never! Each platform offers unique advantages, so they’re best used in combination. Static displays create a sense of timelessness and permanence. Interactive installations allow users to search for and read about information specific to them and their interests – creating a different kind of engagement opportunity. 

What are the benefits of an interactive display? Karen: The primary advantages are timeliness, dynamism, and a customized user experience. You can change donor bios, post news and interviews, and present stories about how philanthropy is helping your organization grow or improving the lives of the people you serve … whatever you’d like your community to know on any given day. And, once you’ve purchased the installation and software, there are few ongoing costs.

The marketing department has asked to contribute content. Should I let them put their content in the display? Karen: Sure! Assuming that you have sufficient room in your installation, presenting a vivid picture of your organization serves every goal – from program growth to philanthropy. The usual project management rules should apply – such as appointing one person or department to manage content and creating a process by which content can be posted. Also, there should always be a clear sense of messaging, so that content doesn’t become disparate or skewed too heavily toward a specific department or content area. 

Example of interactive screen content, The George Washington University, Washington, DC

What are some of the special features of interactive displays? Tomer: Lots of specific features and capabilities are embedded in the software. For instance, you can give donors the ability to give directly through the display. Healthcare organizations can support their grateful patient program – or strengthen stewardship – by including a digital thank you note station through which people can recognize healthcare professionals or donors. And every organization can highlight the excellence of its staff and programs, if desired, by including employee bios, recognition applications, and other features. 

What if I want to change content to add names to my donor list on a regular basis? Tomer: Your interactive display data is integrated with any third-party data source – so any list that’s updated regularly through your current management software will load to the display automatically, updating it seamlessly. No need for extra steps.

What suggestions do you have for content creation? Tomer: Start small and build over time. Choose software that’s user-friendly, allows you to make your own updates, and makes it easy and simple to get started. Add features and information over time, as you get familiar with the system and as you observe the way your audience engages with the installation. You can then evolve your design to reflect and/or drive audience experience. Choose a system that gives you the building blocks to edit freely while maintaining the structure of the display. 

What if I’m not very tech-savvy? Can I still use and update the system? Tomer: Absolutely! For instance, the drag-and-drop, what-you-see-is-what-you-get software we use requires no programming skill or design experience. You can easily reuse existing collaterals or data – dragging it to our interactive interface. The system provides a simple web manager feature that allows you to update images, lists, and other content daily, weekly, or at whatever intervals you decide – without having technical knowledge of the software.

Join us for a webinar on integrated interactive solutions!

To learn more about interactive donor walls, visit the 22Miles website and contact Karen McNulty: kmcnulty@honorcraft.com or at (781) 341-0410.

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